More week eight NFL power rankings are rolling in, with almost everyone's top ten sticking to including the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers at the top, followed by a jumble of AFC teams peppered with two or three NFC teams. As has been the case all season, it's hard to find any consensus on the Falcons. That's what happens when you barely beat the San Francisco 49ers, get blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles, and outgun the Cincinnati Bengals, with your marquee win over the Saints looking less and less impressive as weeks go by.
Fox Sports hurdles the New York Giants over the Indianapolis Colts, since beating the Dallas Cowboys is at least slightly more impressive than enjoying a bye week, and moves the Falcons up one to eighth, but only due to New Orleans Saints attrition:
Atlanta had a nice bounce-back victory over Cincinnati last week, but it's clear that they still have issues in their secondary. Yes, I'm aware that CB Dunta Robinson didn't play, but I'm also not convinced Brent Grimes should be in the starting lineup on the other side, either.
I didn't see Grimes getting beaten a whole lot on Sunday. It seemed the Falcons were simply playing very loose coverage across the board, taking away the deep ball and living with the consequences. Fanhouse leaves their top four unchanged, introducing the Washington Redskins at tenth and leaving the Falcons sitting steady at eighth:
After inexplicably blowing a 24-3 lead, Atlanta rallied and beat the game Bengals at home, thanks in part to Roddy White's big day. With New Orleans floundering and Tampa Bay still not having proven itself, the Falcons are a clear favorite in the NFC South.
I'm a fan of that indefinite article there. Presumably the Saints and Bucs are also clear favorites in the NFC South? The Sports Jury agrees with Atlanta at eight, though they like both the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants over the Baltimore Ravens:
Ugly win at home against the Bengals, but the offense looked real good. They have a bye week.
NESN's horrible, horrible slideshow affair finds the Falcons ranked fifth, which earned way too many clicks from me. This is one case where I'd prefer to see the Falcons way down there in the low 20's:
Wide receiver Roddy White doesn’t always get the attention he deserves, but the Falcons might be setting themselves up for a prime spot in the national spotlight this season.
Cappers' Picks deposits the Falcons 12th. You may be upset by this low ranking, but these guys also don't know who Titans WR Kenny Britt is, so. As for this question:
They can win the NFC, but would anyone be shocked if these guys go 9-7 or 8-8?
The answer is yes, very many people would. The harder portion of Atlanta's schedule is out of the way, with St. Louis and two games each against Tampa Bay and Carolina still ahead. Examiner.com's Detroit bureau places the Falcons at seven -- three ahead of the Saints.